Wed – Sun: A lot more rowing!

What a delight to have 5 days of rowing in a row!  I was in town for the whole week this week and even though I had a busy work schedule, I managed to row every morning.  I didn’t get much sleep, and I froze my ass off, but it was totally worth it!

Tuesday: 2 x 30′ (already posted about this one.  It was pretty tough work)

Wednesday: 3 x (1′ + 1′ + 2′) – a delightfully short sprint oriented workout

Thursday: 60′ of speed play…I got rained and snowed on

Friday: 65′ of speed play…Nice morning, but still damn cold.

Saturday: 4 x 12′ rate ladders on Lake Quinsigamond

Sunday:  Off to Taiwan.

The details:

Wednesday: 3 x (1′ + 1′ + 2′)

Here are my coach’s instructions….

  • 3 sets of: 1’ on, 3’ active rest, 1’ on , 3’ active rest 2’ on, 5’ active rest
  • Rest between: Continuous, no rest between sets. Complete one set and then repeat the series. The active rest is relaxed, low intensity, easy rowing. Stop only briefly to rehydrate.
  • Rating /pace: Race effort, 1k pace (your best right now)

Notes: The emphasis is on high quality work and stroke efficiency. This speed workout aims to keep the lactic acid levels low by allowing enough recovery between pieces for it to clear. Do not cut the rest short. Feel fully recovered and psychologically ready to do the next piece. If the quality starts to drop dramatically, stop the workout.

Training effect: Cat II, repetitions, race pace technique.

Pretty clear instructions and it’s nice to have the notes to know what to focus on.

I did not need to cut the workout short, but I did suffer a bit in the sprints that were going into the head wind.  I adjusted the active rest between sprints as necessary to have the right amount of straight river in front of me when I started each sprint.

There is a huge difference in pace due to wind and current.  The first three were all downstream and wind aided.  The next three were all upstream and into a building headwind.  The third set I did two downstream and then did the last 2′ piece into the current and wind.  I struggled with the cross/head wind in the last one.

Workout Summary - media/20180418-1415260o.csv
Workout Details

I basically aimed to get the power above 300 and keep it there.

Thursday: 60′ of speed play

A unique experience for me.  It was cold and grey when I got to the dock.  I had brought stuff so I could do the session inside because there was rain in the forecast, but when I arrived, it was not raining.  So I decided to give it a go.  I’ve done this session on the erg, but not yet in the boat and I was looking forward to it.


  • 60’ with speed play
  • Rest: n/a only to rehydrate
  • Rating/Pace: Cat VI; target SR 18-20.
  • Once every 10 minutes take the stroke rate up to 28 spm for 20 strokes.

I modified the time between power 20s based on the river.  I wanted to get two 20s into each direction that I row, so it was a little less than 10 minutes between them.

The wind was pretty strong and it started raining during my first trip down the river as I emerged from the s-turn.  By the time I turned at the dam it was raining steadily.  By the time I had gone back upstream, it was a “wintery mix”.  Then it was all snow.

Workout Summary - media/20180419-1300370o.csv
Workout Details

 Friday: 65′ of speed play

Friday is an optional rest day, or I can do another speed play session like Thursday’s.  Since I knew I had travel coming up, I wanted to get as much time on the water as I could.

The weather was even colder than Thursday, around 32F.  But at least it was dry and the sun came out.  The temperature was in the 40s by the time I finished.

I felt much better in this workout than the one on Thursday.  Better, more consistent power in the bursts.


Workout Summary - media/20180420-1350290o.csv
Workout Details

Saturday: 4 x 12′ rate ladders on Lake Quinsigamond

Saturday was a big day for our little club.  We were going to christen our new lightweight double.  We have some very good women rowers and they have been using a mid-heavyweight double which is way less than ideal for them.  We picked this boat up used from Saugatuck and had it repainted locally (fire engine red!).

I brought my boat out.  Today was going to be ideal for a few purposes.  I wanted to see my rowing friends.  I wanted to have a nice long lake for this workout.  And since Saturday mornings are a lot less time compressed, I figure it would be a good time to do some side video with the rigging changes to see if it looks any different.

Marlene had suggested that I move further to stern, and I had moved the footplate a cm last week.  On Saturday, I moved it another cm to the stern.  It felt fine during the row.

I started out with some king of the mountain.  I was really tight and tippy on Saturday, maybe it was having an audience as everyone else was getting ready to row.  Anyway, I have to do this drill more because I suck at it!

Then it was time for the planned workout.

  • 4 x 12’
  • Rest between: 6’
  • Rating/Pace:
    • 6’ @ Cat VI; target 18-20
    • 4’ @ Cat IV; target SR 24
    • 2’ @ Cat III; target SR 28.

The first ladder heading down lake was delightful.  The water was smooth and the wind was light.  I felt strong and fast.  But by the end of the 12′, I was pretty gassed.  I think I pushed a bit too hard.

The next one was uplake and into a building headwind.  That was less fun.  Notice in the plot a transient right at 25 minutes?  That’s were I ran into a “No Wake Zone” bouy.  I noticed it right before I hit it, so I had enough time to brace and avoid flipping, but not far enough to stop or turn.  It freaked me out a bit.

Then back down lake again and finally another one uplake.  by this time I was worn out and the lake was pretty choppy.  The wind was from the northwest as near as I could tell, so coming down lake I was sheltered by the western shore.  Going uplake along the eastern side of the lake, I was exposed to the wind and chop.

I was totally spent the rest of the day.


Once I get settled in Taiwan, I’ll post the videos.

One thought on “Wed – Sun: A lot more rowing!

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